Why We Should Not Teach Evolution Or Creation
In Public Schools
After a long time spent observing the religious and non-religious belief systems of many people, and having been brought up both in secular and religious education systems throughout my life, I have a bone to pick with both the Evolutionary and Creationary viewpoints of those who think either or both should be taught in public schools. I think it is a great disservice for either of these belief systems to be taught, and I will here detail why I believe this.
Before you read this, you need to orient your brain towards an inclusive and open-minded stance. What I am about to say here is probably going to offend you in some way. I don't apologize for what I believe is the truth, nor of my secular (as distinguished from my religious) viewpoint on the matter. I am a Christian, but I believe that I am best served in compartmentalizing my viewpoints and tailoring them to the area of application. As such, I am fiercely libertarian and open-minded in stance when it comes to how secular organizations should be run, yet fiercely zealous in standing on the principles contained in the Bible when it applies to Christian and religious instutitions. This may sound odd, but I base this on the fact that our US Constitution does the same.
Also, before you read this, don't think that I am holding towards Evolution or Creation in this subject. I hold that both should not be taught. I believe, like the founder of Pastafarianism, that only truth and science, not belief of any kind, nor even the interpretation of it or tainting of it, should be taught, because public schools must remain neutral and not take a side in this matter.
Last, while this is currently a rough draft, I will be supplementing this with information you may not agree with. That's your right to disagree with me, and I'm not here to impose my viewpoint on anyone. I am merely going to spell out what and why.
They Are Both Religions
Proponents of evolution are so quick to say that theirs is not a religion but a science. Creationists already hold that what they speak is a religion. But are they both religions?
My stand on the matter is that science is truth, but evolution is belief.
First, I do not lump all of "change" into evolution. Darwin's The Origin Of Species is their Bible, and it clearly points to Darwin saying that he believed that simple life gave birth over time to complex life. As such, my definition is that evolution, at least terran evolution, states this very thing. There is no proof that the simple gave birth to the complex: we didn't witness it (and the fossil record is oddly absent of the huge number of transient species that they expect it to contain). We also can't repeat it in a lab because, per their belief system, it takes millions of years.
So the religion of evolution isn't about just change. Selective adaptation was and is fact: animals adapt to their environment. But land animals do not decide that if the ground is too hot to either change into sea animals or flying animals.
Second, because it does not conform to the strict scientific method of being both observable and repeatable, as stated above.
Third, because it very much has its patron saints and zealots to go along with it, just the same thing many of the athiests within evolution often accuse the Catholic church in the dark ages of doing. Say something against evolution and you are immediately shunned, and, depending on your job, you could lose your job over it.
So really, at the end of all of this, they are both religions, and as such, neither should be taught.
What Should Be Taught
Only the truth, by the scientific method, should be taught, not opinion. I am going to get these links from wikipedia itself, because I want the irony of it being on a non-religious website to sink in.
For example, when I went to school (and it is still in text books today), we were shown Haekel's drawings, which were later proved to be altered and/or faked. I've seen these persisting still in our text books. Not only has this been disproved (i.e. it is no longer truth, hence it should not be taught), iincluding it is an intentional brainwashing. Children don't need to be told or it even suggested that this is happening or that scientists think it's happening. Just show them what stages animal fetuses go through, the facts only, and leave it at that. And for the Creationists, don't teach the verse in Psalms about David thanking God for knitting him together in his mother's womb. Teach neither.
Another blatant example which now exists: Archaeoraptor. It was disproved in 2000. But yet it's still in textbooks. Why?
Piltdown man is still taught as one of our ancestors. It was disproved in 1953. Yet it's still being taught. Why? Instead of "scientists think it was an evolutionary ancestor", how about not teaching it?
The peppered moth can be taught without evolution, as it is science. It is heredity. Just don't mention the "well scientists think this is an example of evolution" because it's not. Again, I stick to the classic definition of evolution, and selective adaptation is scientific law. This was an environmental change that caused a coloration within a species to change. This wasn't "the moth became a frog". Teach it as an example of heredity and genes, not evolution, for the moth didn't change into a different species.
As for Stanley Miller's experiment on synthesizing amino acids in a guestimated, simulated primordial ooze, that should be entirely excluded. The conditions in the experiment were not perfect, and it misses one very important note: that these amino acids all were destroyed by their very own environment if not caught in a trap or other mechanical aid. Amino acids are the building blocks of life, but they are not life, and more than finding a screw on my floor suggests that in these conditions an airplane could come into being in my house. Explain that amino acids are the building blocks of life and omit the rest.
As for Nebraska man, it was retracted. Yet it's still found, though rarely, in text books. If anything is refuted, much less this, it should not be taught, not even hinted at.
The Big Bang Theory is not fact. It has three major problems. Unless it is taught as merelya theory and not as fact, and both the evidence for and against is given equal time and importance, it should not be taught.
Creation should not be taught at all. The existence of God cannot be scientifically proven by the strict scientific method.
Carbon dating should not be taught as if it is unquestionable or even scientific. It has major problems (mainly in the human side, ironically) and has also been shown to be fluxuating. The human side errors end up being like the the error of someone who walks up to his neighbor's pool as it is filling up and, given only the rate of flow and the depth of the pool, attempts to estimate when his neighbor started the water. First, he doesn't know, since his neighbor is absent, if the pool had an initial water level. Second, he doesn't know the whole time line (i.e. was the water stopped and then started?). Third, he does not know whether the rate of flow has always been the exact same. It can be taught, but only on principle, and how to ensure one doesn't use it wrong, but it cannot be taught or stated that it is perfect or the best, or only, source of dating.
The fossil record should not be taught unless it is taught as having limitations and problems, as it does. First, there are fossils that evolution says began in a specific strata due to the time period, yet can be found in every strata. Basically, the flaw here is based in logic: not every strata is perfect, and upheavals can and have reversed layers. Second, it's not linear at all. There are huge gaps between animals. Yet evolutionists rest their faith in it without question.
On the other hand, the Bible is not a scientific textbook. While I believe (key word) that it is true whenever it does touch things in science, it's not intended to teach us science, but God. As such, it also should be excluded from science textbooks.
In Its PlaceYou may counter that cutting out material results in a void that needs filling. I agree. My advice on what to fill it with: more in depth information on the topics being addressed in the books, not evolutionary "scientists think" type content, nor "creationists think".
A main thing I would like to see is more about how to be a proper scientist, not how to think like the crowd does (evolution). More about how to properly come to logical conclusions, like avoiding the many pitfalls people reach towards in order to prove their pet theory (either side) on the origin of the universe. That way people don't so quickly put 100% of their faith in unproven theories or faulty conclusions.
Being a true skeptic means you question everything, not just your "enemy" on the other side of an argument. Being a scientist means you continually research and test theories, not sit around speculating about things you'll never be able to prove on the strict scientific method. I agree, there are things within science we'll never be able to definitively prove, but those things should be reason to be open minded towards the theories about the origin of the universe.
And I definitely think that neither of those origin theories should be taught. Either teach both, or neither. And to prevent appearing to show a bias to one religion (since there are many religions that have their own universe origin theories), teach none. Teach only what scientists know and can potentially prove one day.
For example: the theory of gravity. Some day we can actually prove this, and therefore we can teach it. Origin theories? Nope, we weren't there, and we can't create our own universe, or evolve animals from simple to complex.